Local news

Protest guards seek help after member disappears

LEADERS of the Free Guards who yesterday (Jan. 16) staged a pro-democracy activity near Victory Monument and later a demonstration at Samyan Mitrtown complex in Pathumwan area are today searching for one of their members who was apparently kidnapped by people who claimed to be from the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), Thai Rath newspaper reported.

Mr. Pomphun Panphangkaew, one of the Free Guards, said another member of the group, Mr. Mongkol Santimethakul, or Yale, had sent the message “help me”  on Facebook at 11 p.m. last night after the protest at Samyan intersection had ended. He can no longer be reached by his friends via his Line messaging app.

Pomphun said he went to Yale’s house to enquire about him but later got a message via his friend’s cell phone from some people who claimed to be ISOC officers asking who he was and threatening to tie up his friend’s hands and eyes and release him in the countryside.

From 1 a.m. till early this morning Pomphun has not been able to reach Yale and does not know how bad his situation is. Some members of the Free Guards group intend to go to ISOC headquarters to ask about their missing friend today.

Meanwhile while Pol. Lt. Col. Attawit Saisueb, deputy chief of Metropolitan Police Division One, said his team is working on finding out who the kidnappers were and rescuing the missing guard as soon as possible. 

So far they had found out that he disappeared from Praksa subdistrict of Samut Prakan province and the Free Guards were told to file a complaint with the local police, with this being keeping with the law, so that they too could help find the missing man.

Around seven people were arrested during confrontations at yesterday’s activity and protest while four persons, a Chamchuri Square worker, a journalist and two policemen, were injured when an explosive device was flung outside Chamchuri Square after the protesters had started dispersing from Samyan Mitrtown complex, Amarin TV reported.

It was not known whether the blast was linked to the protest. Police are checking surveillance cameras to chase the culprits who flung the device from a bridge while also having collected a lot of nails and other burnt material left behind

At least two persons were arrested by police during yesterday’s action.


Top: Pomphun showing the “help me” message he received from Yale yesterday. Photo: Thai Rath



TNR staff
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